Monday, November 28, 2011

Mathilde's Giveaway: Extended

The deadline for entering Mathilde's giveaway (a copy of Erec and Enide, by Chr├ętien de Troyes) has been extended to December 2, midnight PST. If you'd like to enter, please click here to find out how!

Gratitude Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Chrissy Peebles, winner of the Gratitude Giveaways Hop on JDP NEWS! Chrissy has won a copy of Loving Lydia, by Amy de Trempe, and a holiday gift package from Designs by Lisa Messegee.

Thank you to everyone who entered! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas is (almost) here again!

Which means it's almost time to begin our annual scripture reading tradition. You remember it from last year, don't you? Beginning on December 1st, we read one chapter a day from the book of Luke, finishing the entire book on Christmas Eve. (24 chapters/24 days) And don't forget that part of our tradition is to buy one of those inexpensive advent calendars with a chocolate for each day from December 1-24. One chapter, one piece of chocolate while you read it, per day. What could be a more fun way to get in the Spirit of Christmas than that?

I have my chocolate advent calendar all ready to go. If you don't have yours, you have a few more days to track one down. (I got mine at Cost Plus World Market this year, but I've also seen them on Amazon.) Or, of course, you could simply come up with your own little scripture reading treat if you prefer.

If you'd like to read my post introducing this tradition last year, you can click here.

Feel free to leave a comment if you'd like to share your participation in this tradition this year. If you'd like to leave a thought, reflection or question about your reading at any time during the month of December, we can turn this post into a little discussion group, as well. I'll get an alert if you leave a comment, and promise I'll answer if you want to check back. :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mathilde is holding a giveaway!

Just because Mathilde was born long before America was discovered and Thanksgiving became a holiday, doesn't mean that she doesn't have much to be thankful for, too, at this season of the year. She is thankful and excited that she will soon be sharing her romance with Etienne with you. (Dangerous Favor is scheduled for release in January 2012.)

Mathilde has a favorite romance story of her own. It's called Erec and Enide, and was written by the medieval poet, Chr├ętien de Troyes. Etienne asks her to share the tale with him in Dangerous Favor

“Prince Erec,” Etienne said when she paused. “Tell me the story of Prince Erec.”

She searched his gaze, fearful of finding laughter there, mocking, however gently, her attachment to the beloved tale. But no teasing light gleamed. Only that simmering desire mingled with a kind of hollow sadness.

“Erec was the son and heir of the king of Estre-Gales and a knight of King Arthur’s court,” she began. “No man was more handsome and valiant than he, nor more accomplished in deeds of chivalry. With his prowess and courage he won the hand of Enide, a lady renowned as greatly for her generosity and wisdom as for her beauty. Erec loved Enide with such an all-consuming passion that after their marriage he spent every moment, waking and sleeping, at her side. He completely forsook his former pursuits and cared no more for arms or tourneyings.”

“His bride was fortunate,” Etienne murmured, “to marry a man of such wealth that he could abandon practicality to follow the dictates of his heart.”

“Nay,” Mathilde said, “his bride soon became most miserable because the other knights mocked Erec and called him a recreant knight. She blamed herself for ruining his honor and reputation. One day Erec overheard her lamenting. He agreed that the rebukes laid against him were just. So he commanded Enide to don her most beautiful gown and immediately they set off to restore honor to his name by fresh deeds of chivalry.”

Mathilde is eager to share the rest of the story with you by giving away a copy of Erec and Enide to one lucky reader of this blog post.

 All you have to do is leave a comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS to be entered for a chance to win. (If I don't have your email address, I can't contact you if you win.) The deadline for entering is Monday, November 28, midnight PST. The winner will be drawn by on Tuesday, November 29.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop

Welcome to the 2011 Gratitude Giveaway Hop, sponsored by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and All-Consuming Books. Here's what you can win here on JDP NEWS:

A gently used copy of the inspirational Regency romance, Loving Lydia, by Amy De Trempe:

Loving Lydia revolves around the lives of Lady Lydia Demains, a morally upright and tenderly naive young woman, and Lord Alexander Wake, an immoral rake, for lack of a better description. Or is he really? Enjoy the rich romance of an innocent young woman caught up into the world of a gentleman who lost his ability to trust and made enemies along the way. A world of obstacles and danger. However, Lord Alex isn't the only one who makes an enemy amongst the ton.

A Christmas card sampler by Designs by Lisa Messegee

And a Designs by Lisa Messegee book bag and mug

(By the way, in case you think that Lisa Messegge is an alias of mine, it's not. She's just an extremely talented friend who offered to make a donation for this giveaway! :-) )

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me one thing you're thankful for, and INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you if you win.

That's it! Now hop along to the next stop on the list below for another awesome Gratitude Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday Teaser is a weekly bookish meme (rhymes with “cream"), hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. (I’ve borrowed it from LDS Women’s Book Review.) Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share at least two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

I'm adapting the rules slightly. I'll be quoting some random lines from the last chapter I read before I post a teaser. I'm a slow reader, so you may get multiple teasers per book. Here's a teaser from The Crown of Anavrea, by Rachel Rossano:

Panic rose in her throat. She forced the fear aside and focused on the sounds of the forest. Kurios, help me. 

From The Crown of Anavrea, p 10

If you'd like to share a teaser from a book you're currently reading, I'd love you to do so in the comment section. And you don't even have to share it on a Tuesday! Be sure to include the title, author, and page number in case others would like to check out the book you're reading.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What Am I Reading Now?

Well, Here Lies Arthur wasn't quite what I was expecting. Loved the concept of the novel, but frankly, I hated the execution. Too violent for me, especially for a YA novel. I left a review on Goodreads if anyone is interested. Purely one reader's opinion, mind.

However, I am definitely ready to move on to something else. I won The Crown of Anavrea in a blog contest. The author and I sometimes exchange new writing sentences on Facebook. Judging from her samples, I expect this to be good! Here's the back cover blurb for the fantasy romance The Crown of Anavrea, by Rachel Rossano:

In a time when castles were the strongest…in a place where combat was face to face…there was a man on the run. Labren was not his true name and he admitted it freely. In a time when slavery was a place where kings were all-powerful…there was a slave in the right place at the right time. Eve, a slave from birth, was asked to trust this stranger who refused to give his true name. Eve saved a stranger’s life. In return, he offered her the opportunity of freedom. She did not know what would happen to her if she chose to accept his proposal, but she did know the consequences of rejecting it.

Stop by on Tuesday and I'll share with you a Tuesday Teaser from The Crown of Anavrea.

Winner: "Colonel Fitzwilliam's Correspondence"

Congratulations to Regan Brianne Guerra! Regan has won a copy of the sweet Regency romance, Colonel Fitzwilliam's Correspondence, by D.W. Wilkin.

Thanks to all who read our interview and entered the giveaway!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Summary Sunday

About this time of year (i.e., "the holidays"), my writing time starts to seriously dry up for awhile. So I'm taking a break from Acelet's neverending story to try working on a shorter project. I'm hoping this will turn out to be a short story, or maybe a novella, but we'll see what the characters decide to do with the story once I let them loose. For now, I'm simply calling this Emilie's story. It's set around 1170 in Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine's court in the palace of Poitiers. Here are a few sentences (one from each day) from the work I did on it this week.

Thursday: Had she not tucked her hands up tightly beneath her bosom, her yawning sleeves would have trailed in the rushes.

Friday: Emilie had never been a man’s wife, but had had sense enough to bury her own dreams by twenty.

Saturday: Her voice came out on a little choke, as if he had knocked the breath from her stomach, rather than merely jolting her shoulder.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Giveaway Hop: Winner!

If you're looking for Sweet Saturday Samples, please click here.

Congratulations to April, winner of the 

Didn't win this time? The swing by again between November 17-27 when I'll be offering up another great holiday package for the Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop!

Sweet Saturday Samples

Actually, I'm not sharing a sample from one of my romances today. I published a little medieval Christmas short story on Smashwords this week. Just for fun and it's completely free from now through Christmas! Here are a few lines from An Epiphany Gift for Robin:

“What foolish thing have you done?” Marriot demanded of her husband. “Whatever this is, we can’t afford it. I’m sure that we can’t!"

The food was long gone now, along with the merry games played by the villagers to keep warm in the winter snows. The ivy and holly so gleefully gathered and hung by the children to brighten their tiny thatched cottage, had grown dry and crisp, crackling off their garlands and crushed by shoes to form a fine, fragrant dust on the earth beaten floor. Today, Epiphany, the day the Magi had presented their gifts to the Christ Child, was the last day of respite her family would have from the backbreaking work in the baron’s fields.

Gifts were only given to small children on Epiphany, especially among the poor.

Her husband’s dark eyes danced with that mischievous gleam that had won her heart ten years ago. “Sometimes a bit of foolishness is just what a man needs to bestow on the woman he loves.”

She heard a trio of high-pitched giggles from the children.

Did I mention that my story is free on Smashwords? Click here if you would like to check it out!

And click here to read some more Sweet Saturday Samples!